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Quezon City News

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Quezon City clarifies sidewalk clearning operations

account_balanceQuezon City News account_circleNoah James chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

It is highly unfortunate that a non-government organization has ascribed unintended meaning to our earlier advisory about the QC government's sidewalk clearing operations.

It is by no means our intention to refer to the homeless people who were affected by the city's road clearing operation as "debris". If some quarters understood it this way, we shall exercise more caution in our phrasing, although the actual manner by which we treat our homeless individuals is a testament to how we value their welfare and dignity.

The clearing operation is mandated by the national government, particularly the Department of Interior and Local Government, as stipulated in Memorandum Circulars 2020-145 and 2020-027, which cover, among others, the street-dwellers and street beggars who need to be rescued from our roadways where they are in constant danger of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and now Covid19.

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For these individuals, we have established shelters that can accommodate and care for them. These are:

1. Bahay Aruga — For abandoned, neglected, abused and indigent senior citizens

2. Reception and Action Center — For displaced and homeless individuals needing temporary shelter

3. Bahay Kanlungan — for abused women and children in need of special protection

4. Bantay Bata Children’s Village — for neglected and abandoned children and children at risk. This is in partnership with ABS-CBN Foundation.

5. Project Sagip Batang Solvent (PSBS) reformation center in Novaliches — to keep children off the streets and away from being involved in illegal drug activities and drug use. This is in partnership with PDEA.

Aside from these centers, many of our barangays also have their own temporary shelters that can accommodate homeless individuals.

We are in close contact with Social Services and Development Departments of other local government units, as well as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in cases when we need to rescue homeless individuals.

On 13 November, the local government rescued a group of Badjaos who were seen roaming around Novaliches begging for alms.

The city gave temporary shelter to the 34 IPs rescued. They were also given hot meals and relief packs, apart from subjecting them to medical check up and Rapid Testing. The city eventually helped them go home to their respective provinces.

Last October, the city, together with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), also helped 81 Badjaos that were temporarily housed in Batasan Hills.

Our Local Shelter Plan and recent acquisition of properties for the benefit of our informal settler families and urban poor are testament to our commitment to our people’s housing needs. Members of the Local Housing Board should know this.

The city government is continuously working to provide them a place they can call home through our various housing programs. At present, we are coordinating with our barangays to provide housing for those whose homes were completely destroyed by the recent floods.

Rest assured that we are working tirelessly to address the needs and look after the welfare of our homeless citizens, treating them with dignity and respect at all times.


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